Posts Tagged ‘Spirituality’

Twenty one year old Shafia and her family were outcasts in their Pakistani village.  They were poor, and many of their Muslim neibhbors scorned them because they followed Jesus Christ.  People called them chura, which means ” lowcaste sweeper” . They were considered the lowest of the low. In Shafia’s village Muslim men harassed Christian girls. Shafia’s brother Rafi publicly confronted them. Months later, he was killed.

The family wanted to prosecute Rafi’s killers, but they needed help.  A man named Masood offered to file the neccessary paperwork for them.  Masood asked Shafia to sign some papers for the case. but later, she discov ered it was a marriage certificate. Masood bragged the two were now married, and Shafia enrage Masood by disputing the marriage.

On Sept. 25, 2007, Masood kidnapped Shafia at gunpoint. He locked her in an upstairs room of his house. He beat her and raped her repeatedly.   Masood told her, ” If you convert to islam, I will stop beating you.” But she stayed strong telling him, ” Christianity is my religion, not Islam.  I am a Christian, and if you want to kill me  then kill me, but i will not accept Islam.”

After four months in captivity, Shafia found the door unlocked one day while Massood was at work. she fled to her family. The family’s situation was desperate.  They had to pay to file a legal case against Masood. They had no money, so they borrowed $217. To pay the , all 11 members of the family worked at a brick kiln, making bricks 12 hours a day.

” Daily in the evening we had a prayer meeting at home with my family. i felt strong in my faith when we read the  Word,” Shafia said.

Shafia and her family ar free from their debt of labor today because of Voic e of the Martyr’s fund. Mondey from the fund paid Shafia’s debt and allowed her family to purchase a rickshaw.  Now the family has a taxi business and they earn enough to take care of their needs.  With her dept paid,, Shafia is living a normal life in her village.  She still attends weekly prayer meetings and continues to stand for her beliefs.

This is a story shared by the Voice of the Martyrs, and is taken from their pulciation ” Praying for a RESCUE”. 

Check out tomorrow to hear the story of the second women, the title of the article is two women.

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Everyone has the need to be needed. Everyone has the desire to be wanted by others. Everyone has the compulsion to be appreciated and significant. That is human nature, and don’t say that it is necessarily wrong, or bad. However it is when it gets a certain point I begin to wonder why we are the way that we are. Being significant is a tricky thing, why is a person significant and not another? Albert Einstein, Napelon Bonaparte, Kurt Vonnegut, or Samuel Clemons. All of these men are significant. But many of us, dare say it a majority of us, will never reach the significance of these individuals; myself included. What makes these individuals significant? Is it something that I can take and learn from them to apply to my own life? Perhaps. There are things that I can learn from them that could help me be a better person. But being significant? I don’t know that is something that I think that we have to value on a more individual basis. If I don’t like to write stories about the Mississippi River then I can not be as significant as Mr. Clemons. If I do not want to conquer a large land mass then I can not be as significant as Mr. Bonaparte. If I don’t like scientific theory then I can not be as significant as Mr. Einstein. It I didn’t enjoy creating science fiction stories then I can not be as significant as Mr.Vonegut. So how can I be significant? Perhaps I can be as significant as I can be. But who am I? That is something that each one of us has to answer for ourselves. Each one of us is different, each one of us is significant for who we are. Some of us are fathers, some of us are brothers, some of us are sons. But not all of us are sons, not all of us are brothers, not all of us our fathers. The difficult thing about determining our significance is that it is as addictive as tobacco, and that is from personal experience. Valuing your significance is very often can begin by being big battle with pride, envy, jealousy or any other host of green eyed monsters. Your own significance is never an issue until you start looking around at other people. The moment that you look at others and start comparing yourself to others is when your significance becomes a problem. To everyone living in the state of Ohio I am completely insignificant. I am nothing. But to everyone who lives in my house. Who works in my office or for my company. To those who I serve with at my church. To them I am not inisignificant, I am valued. But why is it in human nature that no matter how many good things we have in life we always look at the others that we don’t have. Everyone wants to be significant, but when it matters when don’t pay attention to the ones that we are significant to already. We focus more on the things that others are valued for and ignore the those that already value us as important.

I am a licensed CPR instructor for the American Heart Association.   I have been licensed to train those who are willing to serve as foster parents, in the manner to perform CPR.  Once my job required that I did this basically on a monthly basis.  However things change and jobs change, and that is not a bad thing.  As I was thinking about thhe classes that I would no longer be teaching CPR came to mind.  And I started to think about what CPR really is.

Of course it is  two breaths per thirty compressions.  And checking to make sure the scene is safe.  And doing other things not neccessarily in that order.  But those are the steps of CPR, what is CPR?  The answer I could come up with is trying to resart someone’s body by maintaining their heart and circulation functions.  You breath for them, you pump their chest so that the ciruclation will continue to flow throughout their body.  Your end goal is either to  resucitate the person, or keep the person respitory functions going until trained help arrives. All in all a good thing, no one would argue. 

But my thougght process couldn’t stop there.  I began to take it a step further and think about it from a different perspective.  First I looked at it from the perspective of the victim.  If I am unconcious, am I living?  Biologically I would propbably say you were still living.  Mainly because there are only two options.  Living or dead, and if your not dead, well then you are living.  But in that moment when someone else is breathing for you. When someone else is pumping your heart for you.  Are you living?  In one sense of the word I would have to say no.

You are exsisting.  You ar functioning but you are not living.  You are not awake. You are not speaking. You are not thinking.  At the moment when you require CPR you are a biological machine that has broken down and needs assistance in returning to living.  Random thought, yes.  But that is the way that I think.  And the fun doesn’t really stop there.

I began to apply this little thought of what does it mean to be living.  And after chasing a few wild rabbits down there holes I came back to a point that gave me a shiver.  Is God performing CPR on me? 

Think about that.  Is God performing CPR on me, or you?  I am not talking about GOd reeaching down from Heaven and with a huge hand performing CPR on me as I lie in the floor of my living room.  But is He required to perform CPR because I am not living?  Have gotten to a point where I allow the routine of life to become so ordinary that I miss the oppurtunities of each and every moment?  Have I lost focus on the important things of this life? Have I allowed ‘things’ to become my god,  or my focus?  Do I trust more in finacnial securities, or legal systems, or governments than I do in my God?  If I answer yes to any of those then am I living?

My answer……no.  I am functioning. I am a biological machine that operates through this life.  I am missing that I can have a realtionship with God.  Don’t read past that sentence without really thinking about it.  I can have a realitonship with God.   I can have life and life abundantly.  Not through the things of this world, but allowing my trust to be in God.  To be in the one who sustains everything.  There is so much more to life than working and thinking.

Is God standing over me, thumping down in my chest like the do in the movies, or on one of my favorite television shows, MASH.  You know the scene you have seen them on any medical drama.  The doctor stands over the patient pounding away on his chest, sweat is dripping down from his brow, his breath is labored from the exhaustion of performing CPR on a dying man.  And he screams something like, “LIVE! FIGHT!” And then there is that scene where the patient goes on the ventilatior, and the relatives have to make the decision about what to do next. 

What is living? There is so much more to this life, than just functioning day to day.  God is calling for you to live? So why not wake up and live with Him the way He wants you to. If you don’t know Him he still reaches out to you.  And the personal part that made me shiver, I do know Him, but I still ask the question is he perforrming CPR on me? Is my faith just a function of what I do? Is Church just a place I go? Is prayer something I should do? is reading the Bible, reading a book?

Life abudant is waiting, for each one of us to live.